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Arrests made in stolen guns investigation

Updated: Monday, February 24 2014, 02:02 PM EST

By Jennifer Black


Brooke County, WV—

NEWS9 is learning more about the suspects accused of breaking into a Weirton home and stealing dozens of guns.

On Friday, The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force arrested Mark Anthony Campbell of Follansbee in connection to the incident. Campbell is charged with conspiracy and burglary.

In all, there are four people behind bars facing charges in connection to the crime, where approximately 60 guns were stolen from the home of a gun collecter enthusiast in Weirton.

Authorities told NEWS9 that the first arrest was made after a man sold some of the guns at at several Weirton-area pawn shops. From there, the investigation only snowballed according to authorities.

Friday’s arrest of Mark Anthony Campbell in Wheeling by the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force was the final arrest in the case, according to Deputy US Marshall, Chad Simpson.

Authorities say Campbell is only one of the suspects who allegedly broke into a home along Kent Way in Weirton sometime back in January when the home-owner was away.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman who worked at the gun owner’s home noticed a gun cabinet in the basement was missing some 18 antique guns. After calling the owner to alert him, several other areas were checked, and it was determined that approximately 60 guys were missing.

"The Weirton detectives were able to recover some of the firearms, from local pawn shops here in Weirton and we were able to locate a few more items in Ian Saunders residence in Follansbee West Virginia,” Simpson said.

The Ian Saunders that Simpson mentioned is another suspect arrested in the case. He and his wife, Chelsea Saunders, are accused of breaking into the gun owner’s home along with Campbell and taking the guns.

Authorities were led to the trio after arresting Kipp Cawthorn, the suspect who sold some of the guns at area pawn shops.

According to the criminal complaint, Ian and Chelsea Saunders told police they stole the guns in order to by heroin in Steubenville.

At this time, Campbell, Ian and Chelesa Saunders are in the Northern Regional Jail on $150,000. They are scheduled to appear in Brooke County Magistrate Court on Thursday.

Arrests made in stolen guns investigation


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